City officials feel surveillance cameras will dial down the numbers of crime

Keeping the community safe is the goal of law enforcement and city leaders

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – Keeping the community safe is the goal of law enforcement and city leaders. In Columbus, part of that plan involved keeping a closer eye on city streets.

In late August 2021, Columbus Mayor Keith Gaskin and police chief Fred Shelton announced they would begin installing cameras around the city with an eye to keep crime under control. They plan to have 10 cameras set up in high crime and high traffic areas.

“I want them around the parks because I wanted the kids to feel safe or whoever is enjoying the park we want them to feel safe,” said ward 5 city councilman Stephen Jones.

Jones believes the community as a whole should become safer, but one area he feels should be a high priority is the city’s public parks.

“We didn’t put all this stuff out here you know just for it to sit you know we want you to come to the park we want you to gather at the park you know, but we also want the ones that you know that may be coming for trouble that we are watching, ”Jones said.

Mayor Gaskin released the proposed locations for the first 10 cameras; 3 are already installed. Jones said that if the crime were to happen in one of those areas, the camera will be able to quickly point law enforcement in the right direction.

“911 can log into the camera and also let the police know what they’re going into you know so they can be prepared when they get there or they can tell them what vehicle may be leaving the area so they can be looking for that vehicle while they’re on their way there, ”Jones said.

The cameras are active 24 hours a day detecting everything that crosses its path, and Jones said it comes as a relief to many families.

“They welcome the cameras and they’re very very happy and hopefully it will you know allow them to be able to sit on their porch a little bit more”

The camera locations were chosen according to crime data. The city hasn’t set a deadline for the installation of the systems, but even with the cameras, the public is still an important information source.

If anyone sees suspicious activity in their area they’re encouraged to call 911.